Tom's Take Blog

April 10, 2019

How should employers adjust their health benefit offerings based on the surge of Millennials entering the workforce?

Tom’s Take: As Millennials are predicted to soon outnumber Baby Boomers, this generation of 23- to 38-year-olds has also become the most represented age group in the U.S. workforce today.

 

But what we’re learning along the way is that Millennials have different wants, needs and habits when it comes to health care. This is causing employers to take another look at their employee benefit offerings and, in many cases, make some modifications to cater to this ever-growing population.

 

So, what is unique about how Millennials approach care? I came cross a great article in Employee Benefit News that gives some helpful perspective.

 

Generally speaking, this generation is:

  • Less likely to seek out care or consider things like vaccinations and cancer screenings as part of their bigger health picture (note: 56% of millennials went to a doctor’s office in the last year vs. 73% of non-millennials)
  • More likely to research health info online and self-diagnose conditions instead of going in to see a provider
  • Less likely to seek care from traditional providers who require pre-scheduled appointments and more likely to opt for urgent care and retail clinic locations
  • More likely to factor in cost when making health care decisions and ask for procedure pricing upfront

 

Of course, it’s important to factor in all generations when building or updating your employee benefits program, but it’s a good idea to pay closer attention to Millennials’ health care habits given their increasing prominence in the workplace.

 

How can you address these changing benefit needs? Broadly speaking, you’ll want to create health and wellness programs that emphasize the benefits of maintaining and/or improving one’s health, and ensure those programs (including enrollment and descriptions of benefits) are easy to access – and accessible online. And an important factor is to provide quick, easy and affordable access to primary care, which could include onsite clinics, telehealth and similar programs. The bonus is that many of the program options you might implement to satisfy Millennials will also be welcomed by the rest of your workforce.

 

Benefits can be a major incentive when employees decide to take – or remain at – a job, so be sure you’re considering everyone with the packages you offer.

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